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It's a tricky question. As it may be a time consuming task, it could be better for some to outsource it. However, every business set up business differs. It will only be up to the individuals running the business to decide whether they should outsource it or not.

@Daniela (Online Reputation) - the methodology is another critical piece of information that companies might consider building more transparency into, especially with employees. How do they arrive to the conclusions they do about the business? It's amazing how much more engaging those conversations would become.

@Tish - there is another consideration about coaching. In some companies that are not culturally ready to participate, coaching can help those who have been selected to contribute to blogs and online forums so they don't feel left out in the cold while the company catches up with what it means to be open. There's psychological value and a risk management component built into hiring an outside consultant or agency to help get things going and keep them sustainable. Nothing wrong with having lives :)

@Jay - I wholeheartedly agree about outsourcing your voice being difficult. And to that, I'd add that technical groups should do their heavy lifting and not expect that marketing and communications will take care of the content. Imagine doing a major blog launch that supports a new product and asking marketing to write the posts... hello? You're very diplomatic about the integration and holistic approach. Truth is, when the culture is cut throat, people are very turf-driven and give little thought to how their own actions and work impact others on the team and the whole customer experience. It's easier to look to an external resource as a guide. It takes the egos out of the equation.

@Danielle - thank you for the link. I'm willing to bet you that unless companies change the way they think about communications and build internal resources to support these additional assets, the writing and posting will be outsourced. I'm not saying that's the way I would do it, it's just hard for senior leaders who are used to marketing providing talking points and doing the leg work to shift their thinking to going direct.

@Glenn - it really depends on the frequency people are used to on each network, the context, and the person asking. Facebook is perceived as more casual, and people do spend more time there than on LinkedIn, even as more look for career opportunities, it's easier to be social than to be "working" :)

@Amy - the organization should still drive what is being said, the content. I agree that all agencies should be aligned on behalf of the organization.

@Eric - thank you for the kind words. Most people do like to think they made the right decision, and the process of getting there does help us manage emotion and gather the information we need to rationalize our decision. That's why we shifted the focus of #kaizenblog chat more decisively to strategy. We felt there was a need to take a step back and do just that. Listening is an art, and I've written about it here. I'll think about a way to put the question forth that stimulates thinking about the process vs. talking about tactics.

@Girish - interesting thought here. Would a megacorp have a more defined and portable core message?

Depends on the size of your firm, a megacorp should definitely outsource to a PR team, but for a SMB the PR could be the core message of their firm or product and there is no way a 3rd party could portray that effectively. So its really a mixed opinion there is no one answer that is correct.

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